The Kenya national rowing team jetted back recently ecstatic that things have certainly began to look up. Alexandria, Egypt was the venue for the eighth African rowing championships and rowers from nine countries enlisted.
Kenya team coach Firoz Khan credited hardwork and consistency as the key to the great effort which saw them clinch nine medals, one gold the rest bronze to finish fifth overall.
"All the effort and of course days of burning the midnight oil, good physical conditioning and psyching up, finally paid off," Firoz said.
"I am privileged as the coach of Tudor Water Sports Rowing Club and Kenya team to announce our brilliant performance," he said.
Egypt emerged the overall winners followed by Tunisia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Somalia and Uganda. After the prestigious event, Firoz paid tribute to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Moyas), National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) and the continental body FISA "for playing a major part in this success".
"We would have performed better if only we could get more support from our national rowing organisation - Kraca (Kenya Rowing And Canoe Association)," continued Firoz.
The bronze medals came through Kelvin Echessa, John Mugabe, Peterlis Osiany, James Ocholla, Imtiaz Feroz, Stephen Juma, Donald Mtuma and Martin Ngugi.
Firoz scooped the gold medal for being voted the best coach. This was a first time achievement since rowing, as a sport, began in Kenya.
"We deserved this as we have been training hard throughout the years despite the ups and downs. We are also very grateful to our main sponsors, Tudor Water Sports Marina and Marine Craft and Boat Repairs without whom we would not have made it this far. We are in the process of restructuring our home club."